Kew Orchid Festival 2020 celebrates Indonesia’s wildlife and plant diversity

Kew’s 25th annual orchid festival, opening next month, will celebrate the wildlife and vibrant culture of Indonesia, which is home to some 5,000 species of orchid.

Kew Orchid Festival 2020 will showcase Indonesia’s rich biodiversity through wonderful orchid displays which each represent a different aspect of Indonesian wildlife and culture.

Indonesia has a vast and varied landscape that includes an archipelago of more than 17,504 islands including Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Papua and Bali.

With over 100 active volcanos in Indonesia, Kew’s Princess of Wales Conservatory will feature an erupting volcano, created from orchids and other tropical flowers, as part of a dramatic central pond display at the Orchid Festival.

Elsewhere, visitors will be able to marvel at an archway made up of hundreds of carnivorous pitcher plants and encounter life-sized displays of animals native to Indonesia including orangutans.

Indonesia, much of which remains unexplored, is home to numerous orchids and other plants that can be found only on certain islands in the archipelago. The island of Sumatra is the only place you’ll find the infamous Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanium, otherwise known as the ‘corpse flower’ thanks to the unbearable smell of rotting flesh it produces when in bloom.

This year’s Orchid Festival will showcase some of Kew’s scientific research work to help identify, protect and promote the country’s biodiversity. Working with researchers in Indonesia, Kew’s scientists are undertaking intrepid field trips to discover new plants, aid conservation efforts, and promote sustainable development.

Last year a Kew scientist, André Schuiteman, discovered and described a new orchid that was completely unknown to science. It was named Bulbophyllum adolinae after Adolina, the wife of the governor of West Papua.

The Orchid Festival, which runs from 8 February to 8 March 2020, will also host talks, half-term activities, and after-hours events with Indonesian music, dance, and cuisine.

Kew Gardens

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

 

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